Easy Ways to Cut Water Use in Malibu

15 Water Saving Tips

As the California drought drags on into the summer months, The Malibu Times has put together some tips and suggestions to help readers reach the Water District 29 goal to cut 36 percent of residential water use, save a few bucks on their water bills and help protect the environment.

Suggestions come from resident and local business feedback, and information provided by local water purveyors and the City of Malibu.

Thanks to a recent Federal grant, homeowners who haven’t switched over to drought tolerant lawns can now earn $3 per square foot of turf replacement.

Residents who haven’t had a chance to replace their green lawns with drought tolerant landscaping are in luck, since on Monday, West Basin Municipal Water District announced they’re adding an extra dollar to the district’s turf replacement program, bringing the rebate up to three dollars per square foot of turf – but the program is only available on a first-come first-served limited basis.

“Programs such as turf removal allow residents to significantly reduce their outdoor water use, which is where the largest amount of water savings potential is for residential communities,” West Basin Board President Gloria D. Gray said in a statement.

Formerly known as “Cash for Grass,” the program has been nicknamed “Turf’s Up” and in the end will help remove an estimated 450,000 square feet of green lawn with landscaping more appropriate for the Southern California climate.

The funding program also includes a free consultation with a landscape surveyor who will help residents find other ways to cut back on outdoor water use.

Residents looking to cut back on water use outdoors and indoors this summer may want to sign up for the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program through HERO, Home Energy Renovation Opportunity.

The PACE program allows improvements to be paid off by homeowners through their property tax bill over the course of five, 10, 15 or 20 years with tax-deductible interest.

“With mandatory water reductions taking effect, HERO is coming to Malibu at just the right moment,” said Mayor John Sibert in a statement released by the City of Malibu. “This innovative water and energy conservation program makes it easy for homeowners to do the right thing for the environment and the smart thing for their pocketbook.” 

Throughout the summer, The Malibu Times will continue to provide readers with ideas and information about water conservation opportunities, but the Malibu community is full of experts and skillful amateurs who have already devised many ways to cut water use.

Local residents, businesses and organizations have set a good example for how to cut back on water use, such as the Alumni Lawn outside of Pepperdine University, which has long been watered using “graywater” — reclaimed water that would otherwise go to waste.

Residents and businesses with water saving tips or suggestions should reach out to Managing Editor Sarah Shmerling at sarah@malibutimes.com.